At first glance, it seems that Apple's strong retail design has derived from consistent design. But since Steve Jobs opened the first Apple Store in 2001, the brand has changed its store and lighting design concept five times. Thereby change appears as a central factor when a brand grows and expands internationally. For each period Apple developed sophisticated details and has strived for the perfect sky in their store - a smart strategy to enhance naturalness and sustainability.
Apple Store: The Latest Architecture and News
The latest Apple Store designed by Foster + Partners has opened on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, occupying the grounds and courtyard of a historic Parisian apartment. The ornate Beaux-Art building has been appropriated by “carefully interweaving several layers of history with contemporary, light-filled and inviting spaces.”
The design is the result of a close collaboration by Foster + Partners and Apple’s chief design officer Sir Jonathan Ive, which has produced Apple Stores around the world including Piazza Liberty in Milan, Michigan Avenue in Chicago and Regent Street in London.
Apple’s Piazza Liberty Store, designed by Foster + Partners, has opened to the public in Milan, Italy. The scheme is located under an existing piazza close to the Corso Vittorio Emanuele, one of the most popular pedestrian streets in Milan.
The store is defined by a dramatic waterfall which surrounds the entrance while forming the backdrop to a large outdoor amphitheater. Piazza Liberty is the first Apple Store to be constructed in Italy following their retail design collaboration with Foster + Partners.
Foster + Partners has published photographs of their recently-opened Apple Store in Macau, intended as a “new oasis of calm” against the city’s buzz and excitement. The store, opened on June 29th, was designed in response to a brief calling for “an inviting, contemplative space, where technology, entertainment, and arts come together to make a positive contribution to the city.”
Apple Cotai Central was designed in a close collaboration between Foster + Partners and Apple’s chief design officer Sir Jonathan Ive, a collaboration which has previously produced Apple stores at Michigan Avenue in Chicago, and Regent Street in London.
Plans for Apple’s next flagship store, to be located within the historic Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square in Washington, D.C, have been approved by the District’s Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB).
The project comprises both an interior/exterior restoration and renovation of the 63,000-square-foot Beaux Arts library, which was constructed in 1903 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1969. The plan will allow the library to be shared by Apple and the building’s existing tenant, The Historical Society of Washington. The 2-story Apple store will be located on the first floor and basement levels of the building, and will be designed by Foster + Partners, continuing their collaboration with the tech giant.
Taking a page from its own products, Chicago’s new flagship Apple Store will have what appears to be a MacBook-inspired roof topping its entrance. Videos from the Chicago Tribune and Twitter surfaced earlier last week detailing its roof installation complete with a white apple logo. The Foster + Partners design will offer unobstructed views towards the Chicago river as a tribute to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie-style homes outside the city.
On a tree-lined avenue in Singapore, fittingly named Orchard Road, Apple has opened its first Flagship store in the city-state, highlighting its role as a global center for creativity and innovation. Designed by Fosters + Partners, in collaboration with the design team at Apple, the Orchard Road Flagship seeks to create a new social focus by working in tandem with nature, blurring the boundaries between inside and out.
Renderings have been revealed for the upcoming apple store in Milan’s Piazza Liberty, designed by Foster + Partners in their latest collaboration with the technology giant. Following an extremely site-specific approach, the new flagship store will be located under the existing piazza, introducing a new public amphitheater and waterfall feature that will double as the store’s entrance.
Today, app developer Morpholio has unveiled the newest addition to its collection of architectural aids. Ava, short for Automated Visual Assembly, aims to streamline the interior design process by allowing the user to navigate seamlessly between visually-appealing presentation boards and detailed, editable data spreadsheets.
Ava seeks to reform the status quo for interior design projects, which often involves the separate creation of visual presentation boards for clients, cut sheets and specs for drawing sets, and product lists for purchasing. Ava has been invented to package images and information more intelligently, optimizing beauty, clarity, and ease, and allowing designers to navigate neatly from process, to presentation, to project delivery.
The US Patent and Trademark Office have awarded a patent to Apple for the design of their flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York, reports MacRumors. The patent, applied for by Apple in 2012, applies to the above-ground glass cube, which was originally designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and - after a renovation in 2011 - is made of just 15 glass panels with minimal steel fixings. More on the patent after the break.
Apple has successfully secured a patent for the cylindrical, glass entrance to its Shanghai store. After trademarking the design and layout of its retail stores last January, this is one more battle Apple has won for copyrighting its signature look.
More on the patented design after the break.
This past May, Apple filed plans to close its existing flagship retail store at 1 Stockton Street in San Francisco and move it three blocks north to one of the city's most popular spots: Union Square. This plan was met with enthusiasm from city officials until they realized that Apple and the store's architects at Foster + Partners were disregarding a beloved bronze folk art fountain by San Francisco sculptor Ruth Asawa that currently occupies the site. Many have also criticized the store's design for being a characterless box of metal and glass that contributes nothing unique to the local landscape, raising awareness of a commercial architecture defined more and more by trademark and less and less by its surroundings.
More on Apple's proposal in San Francisco and the problems of trademarked design after the break.
Apple has successfully been awarded a trademark for the “design and layout” of their retail stores. Since opening their first in Virginia over a decade ago, their stores have been at the heart of the companies branding; with the late Steve Jobs heavily involved in their design. Since, the growing presence of similar stores, including a familiar Microsoft chain launched in 2009, has left Apple feeling the need to protect its own distinctive style.
More after the break.
Thomas Park has compiled a gallery of all 357 of Apple’s stores from all over the world. The images are pulled directly from Apple’s own website and include information about where the store falls among the 357, where it is located and when it was opened. Park’s initiative was sparked by the desire to detect the evolution in Apple’s strategy of storefront design. Apple’s retail architecture shows the success of closely adhering to design principles in the visual branding of products, the products themselves, and the environment in which they are actually sold. Apple has a simple, crisp and sleak design that comes through in their products and in their stores and give off the same feeling of reliable design.
More after the break.
Similar to their identifiable products, the Apple stores require a sleek, almost instantly recognizable, aesthetic. As keepers of the latest technology, the buildings’ minimalist interiors boast a calm and sophisticated demeanor, complimenting, yet not overshadowing, their prized possessions. It may come as a surprise that the leading architects behind the stores are Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ), a firm that had never designed a retail store before Apple and whose principal, Peter Bohlin, winner of the AIA Gold Medal, ironically doesn’t use email.
Bohlin has awed us in the past, especially with Apple’s second Manhattan retail store located on Fifth Avenue. Turning a tough retail space into a successful masterpiece, the store’s iconic cube, a 32-foot glass structure, marks the store’s entrance and beckons customers down to the retail level which is illuminated with natural light. And now, BCJ has just unveiled their latest Apple store, and the first of its kind in China which seeks to emulate similar design decisions as the Fifth Avenue project.